Runners tend to focus on running as the primary method of fitness, often ignoring the interconnected balance of the body. Yoga will assist in development of strength, balance,stability, and flexibility to help you with performance, recovery, and injury prevention. Yoga will give you a targeted workout with quick results for your core and legs, and added benefits for your entire body.
1 – Hamstring stretch- Place one leg in front of the other with the front leg as straight as possible and the back toes pointed slightly outward as though you were on a tightrope. With a straight back extend both hands over your front leg to a comfortable stretch and hold for 30-45 seconds. Repeat with other leg. Great for stretching.
2 – Frog – Lay down with each leg extended outwards at a 45degree angle and toes pointed outward. You will likely not be able to extend all the way down, just keep the 45degree angle and gently rock back and forth for 45sec. When you come out, crawl forward. Great for hip flexibility.
3 – Side Arm Balance- While in plank position (push up) rotate to your right on one arm and stack the feet, one on top of the other and extend the upper arm up in the air. Hold for 10-20 sec. and repeat on other side. Do 3-5 reps total. Great for upper body strength- arm carriage for runners.
4 – Mountain Pose – While standing as straight as possible lift one leg and place the foot inside the thigh just above the knee. Hold for 1 minute and repeat. For advanced, extend lifted leg straight out and hold for 30 sec. – 1 minute. Repeat on other side.
5 – Chair Pose – Stand straight and raise hands above head. While keeping hands above head crouch down as though sitting on a chair. Hold for 30 sec. stand and then repeat. Works legs and core.
These exercises when completed weekly as part of your overall running/cross training schedule will help you run more efficiently and recover quicker.